The marketing landscape is ever-changing. With ideas and trends emerging daily in the visual content domain, it's important to stay focused on keeping up-to-date with the current industry trends to stay on top of the competition.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by performing an audit of your competitor's visual content. By doing an audit, you'll be able to identify the visual trends they're using and which types of content your target consumers respond to the most. Once calibrated for your brand, you can apply these concepts and ideas to your own content marketing strategy to create a stronger digital presence.
In this blog post, we'll discuss how you can perform a quick audit of your competitor brand's visual content in three steps.
Start your investigation by entering a competitor brand's info into Similar web. This handy website will help you determine if they are getting a lot of click-throughs from their digital advertising or social media accounts. It will also tell you which social platforms are directing them the most traffic. This is helpful to know which channels are working for them, especially if there are a lot of site visitors coming from visual platforms like Instagram or Pinterest.
Next, head over to the Facebook Ads Library to scope out what your competition is advertising on social. The Facebook Ads Library was introduced to enable more transparency around what content was being promoted on the platform. It's a really handy way to assess how many ads your competitors are running and what type of content they are paying to promote.
Unfortunately, you can't detect what their ad spend is or what the results are but the number of variations of an ad that is running should be an indication of what they think is working!
Now that you know what they are using to advertise on Facebook and Instagram you can head to the Adbeat website to find out what display ads they are running. You can get individual data for how long each ad has been running and what type of website it is appearing on. Adbeat also shows how many different landing pages are in use by a particular advertiser but you can only see the specific details with a premium account.
You should have some good context now as to what your competitors are paying for when it comes to their digital ads but what about their organic posts for online audiences that need a lot more content?
Social media feeds are a great place to test a variety of visuals and get a real-time reaction from potential customers. Luckily for you, the results of the most well-received organic content are publicly available in the form of engagement metrics.
If you don't have the patience to scour hundreds of social posts from other brands, there are lots of third-party social media analytic tools that can help you quickly compile a snapshot of your competitors' performing content. Some social media scheduling tools you already use may have this capability and there are likely free options around. We quite like Sociality for their excellent competitor reporting but it is only free for the first 14 days.
Once you can determine what your competitors' audiences are responding to, you can keep a list or spreadsheet with the best performing or most popular types of content. Take note of what type of content it is as well - are they investing heavily in video or is it mostly static images?
When you've already gathered all the data, you can start evaluating these visual content ideas and find out if it applies to your brand in a way that is meaningful to your audience.
One of the best ways to blow your competition out of the water is to continually iterate and evolve the content you serve your audiences. Posting regularly and serving up a variety of eye-catching visuals is the best way to discover what works best.
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